The maintenance of a motivated and consistent workforce is probably one of the biggest challenges in commercial cleaning services. The quality and reliability of your cleaning teams will flow through directly to your customer service levels and consequently the performance and reputation of your stakeholders.

The UK cleaning industry relies on migrant labour more heavily than other economic sectors, with 24% of workers having a non-UK nationality, compared to the average of 18% across other industries and so with Brexit underway, the marketplace for good cleaning resources is likely to get tougher.

Now is the time to invest in your current workforce to improve retention of your existing teams by increasing their motivation.

Share good news and pass on feedback both good and not so good

The reward felt by the frontline workforce when not only your customers are satisfied, but their customers are delighted, cannot be underestimated when this is passed on. Make sure there is a regular channel for feedback to the cleaning teams. Do not be afraid to share feedback that requires improvement as long as this is done in a way that allows teams to address these suggestions and measurably improve. These feedback loops empower teams and make them feel more influential on service levels delivered.

Open up multiple communication channels

It is essential that frontline staff can feel that they have many ways of communicating throughout your organisation. Often, they are confined to their line management and this may make them feel intimidated if they want to raise important issues. An open line to HR and even senior management is never a bad thing

Formal appraisals and feedback sharing

A well run regular appraisal process is not only valuable to your company for identifying talent, improving standards and ensuring remuneration levels are correct, it also serves as a motivator for staff if done well. Cleaning staff can express their aspirations and set their development plans not only to address required improvements but to develop and improve skills through training or mentoring helping them to meet their own personal goals.

Re-enforce growth and development

Richard Branson famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”. In commercial cleaning services, there is a wealth of training and development on offer that will allow your people to meet their objectives. Growth and development needs to become continuously part of your culture as an organisation, not just something you think about at an annual appraisal.

Consider paying loyalty bonuses

With increased competition for good people comes increased risk. Think about loyalty bonuses for 5 year and 10 year anniversaries or extra holiday days after a number of years of service. These can often prove very difficult for staff to give up if they consider moving.

Give your staff the best tools and supplies

Cleaning is not an easy job at the best of times but trying to achieve good results with substandard equipment, poor and outdated systems or inferior and ineffective cleaning chemicals and cleaning supplies will only demoralise and demotivate the teams. Keep up to date with innovations that improve their performance and working practices.

Regular events and get togethers

Sharing is caring. Arrange regular meetings where overall business objectives and performance can be shared and encourage staff contribution via Q&As sessions or contributed suggestion slips. There is nothing like getting together with colleagues and discussing issues that can often be resolved between staff members collectively without troubling management groups. Encourage a dialogue through more relaxed formats rather than one way presentations.

Your greatest asset in commercial cleaning services is your labour force so treating it with skill and support is vital. The economic benefits are also compelling with happier customers being prepared to recommend you to new business opportunities based on the high consistent service levels you can achieve.

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Victoria Griffiths Head of ProcurementWe are very proud to announce the appointment of Victoria Griffiths as our new Head of Procurement.

Victoria’s primary focus area will be the management of the purchasing arm of the company with large focus on economies of scale, continuous improvement and sourcing quality goods for their customers.

Victoria has worked within the purchasing environment for over 17 years, starting out as a Buyer for own label and branded household disposable manufacturer, CeDo. Working at CeDo for over six years, Victoria broadened her purchasing experience eventually obtaining the position of UK Supply Manager at the company, where she was responsible for all supply related inputs to a spend of approximately £25 million per annum.

From here Victoria moved to PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity, where she held the position of Contracts and Procurement Manager for 10 years. Leading the implementation and development of PDSA’s procurement strategy, Victoria ensured supporter funds were maximised through the implementation of cross functional spend to achieve internal efficiencies.

We are very pleased to have Victoria on board. With a wealth of procurement knowledge and experience, Victoria will be a great asset to the Arrow County Supplies team.

Introduction

Organisations in both the public and private sectors are facing increasing pressure to reduce costs and improve performance. New regulatory requirements, globalisation, increases in contract volumes and complexity have resulted in an increasing recognition of the importance and benefits of effective procurement procedures and contract management.

Many of these procurement procedures need to conform to EU regulations through OJEU.

This blog will offer some practical things to consider in any procurement procedure that will help you enhance the defined frameworks.

What is OJEU?

The EU Procurement Directives have established public procurement rules that apply to any public sector purchases above the defined thresholds. The directives which currently apply in the UK open up public procurement within the European Union and ensure the free movement of supplies, services and works.

Many organisations have carefully described procurement procedure frameworks. The following tips are designed to enhance and create greater value from these procedures:-

  1. Do you have to do this procedure?

It’s always important to check that you are obliged to conform to a procedure. The threshold for OJEU contracts are always being changed so make sure you understand your obligations and seek the correct procedure for you

  1. Establish and maintain your project teams early

Invite and build teams to support a smooth procurement process and do it early. Give clear briefings as to the objectives of the contract and make sure everyone is committed to a set of common objectives, particularly timescales

  1. Touchpoints and reviews

At key points in the procedure step back and take a review of progress against your objectives and procurement procedures. Involve your teams and trusted outsiders to take an objective look at the project to keep on track

  1. Review yourselves as well as suppliers

Any procurement process requires a lot of ongoing analysis, particularly of suppliers. Take the opportunity to review the performance and effectiveness of the purchasing organisation as well. This can unlock bonus improvements that were not identified as objectives of the process

  1. Develop your contract strategy

Beware not to see your contract strategy as linear and refine your strategy as you go. This can be a productive output of touchpoints and reviews

  1. Always think about Exit as well Entry

As the procurement objective is often paramount, elegant contract exit is often de-emphasised. Maintain a balance of thinking about the start and potential end of any contracted relationship, particularly to preserve residual values and goodwill

  1. Pre-formal procedure engagement

What a valuable time this can be? Use eager suppliers to provide you with any insights they may have that might streamline the procurement process. Get them to carry out assessments or evaluations of processes and procedures. This is usually a win win. Suppliers get insights into the organisations needs at first hand and buyers get innovative ideas to use now or save for later.

  1. Wash up and learn for continuous improvement

As this procedure is always going to be repeated, honest self-reflection can open ideas to improve the procedures next time round. Continuous improvement will encourage teams to commit next time around

A balance of a well developed framework modified with appropriate and pragmatic solutions should always deliver the best outcomes so don’t be afraid to try out a new things every time a project gets underway

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The most common injuries at work come from slips, trips and falls according to the Health and Safety Executive. These injuries “cost employers over £512m per year”. It is clearly an owners or employer’s responsibility to reduce the risk to visitors and staff so what do you need to know?

Design

Correct design of surfaces and the working environment can be a big factor in mitigating and managing risks for the long term. Make sure that when new build or refurbishment is planned that creating low risk environments is one of the top priorities of the designers a long with functional and aesthetic design requirements.

Falls Risk Assessment

You may not have the luxury of managing an environment that is designed with risk reduction in mind, so identifying the risks in your work space is the next key step. The outcome will be to demonstrate that you are doing enough to prevent harm.

Consider what risks in your environment may lead to slip or trip injuries, and decide what suitable and effective control measures will prevent these types of accidents. Concentrate on the real risks – those that are most likely to cause harm. Think about how accidents might happen and who might be harmed.

This can be done by:

  1. Asking your employees what they think the hazards are, often they notice things that are not obvious to more casual observers and they may have some ideas on how to control the risks;
  2. Using the hazard-spotting checklist and slips and trips mapping tool (see below) to help you identify problem areas
  3. Put control measures into practice

The main causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace are:

  • uneven floor surfaces
  • unsuitable floor coverings
  • wet floors (leaks, cleaning or spillages)
  • changes in levels
  • trailing cables
  • poor lighting
  • poor housekeeping

Follow this easy 5-step Falls Risk Assessment process (recommended by the Health and Safety Executive) to take control of slips trips and falls

  1. Look for slip and trip hazards around the workplace, including floor coverings and their condition, uneven floors, trailing cables and areas that are sometimes slippery due to spillages. Don’t forget to include any outdoor areas, remembering that weather conditions may be a factor.
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how. Who comes into the workplace? Are they at risk? Are some groups more at risk than others?
  3. Consider the risks. Are there already measures in place to deal with the risks? Are floor coverings suitable for the area and the work carried out there? What cleaning and maintenance systems are in place? Are regular inspections carried out? Are employees instructed to keep traffic routes clear?
  4. Record your findings if you have five or more employees.
  5. Regularly review the assessment. If any significant changes take place, make sure that precautions are still adequate to deal with the risks.

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Public perception of an organisation can be set in stone once a visitor has used the washroom so keeping them in top condition is vital. Washrooms deliver another important function in delivering improvements in public or workplace hygiene. Choosing the right washroom solutions can lead to a marked improvement in facilities management performance and the user feedback rankings of any organisation.

Hygiene

Maintaining hygiene standards according to the right legislation for your type of organisation is essential and high hygiene standards make washrooms more appealing to staff and visitors. Diligent cleaning regimes using the right commercial washroom supplies is essential. Trusted suppliers will often be able to assist you in regular reviews of cleaning protocols and the most innovative washroom solutions.

In addition to the daily cleaning regime, planned routine deep cleans are important to keep standards up. It is worth rotating staff across different locations to carry this out as familiarity can often mean more challenging areas can get over looked.

Flooring

Flooring type can have a significant effect on standards of cleanliness and hygiene. Floor tiles allow bacteria to thrive in grout lines and unseen crack and crevices. Smooth floor surfaces are easy to clean, but can create slip hazards; therefore, the safest and most hygienic washroom solution is anti-slip safety flooring.

Whatever your flooring, using the right commercial washroom supplies is paramount. Different surface types and materials may require specific washroom products to do the job effectively. Our helpful E-guide “5 Easy Steps to Improve Floor Cleaning” can help you with this.

Hand Drying

A frequently debated topic about washrooms is hand drying system choice, particularly hot air dryers Vs paper towels. In 2013, the NHS reviewed over 10 studies in this area and found that paper towels win out all round. One study found that 10 seconds of using a hot air dryer was associated with more bacteria on the hands than not using a dryer at all. This is because harmful bacteria are often recirculated by hot air dryers. Children are most at risk as their faces are at a similar level to most driers.

Innovative paper hand drying systems can reduce costs as well as improve standards.

Odour

Many studies have shown reactions to odours and our olfactory likes and dislikes are based purely on emotional associations, with even the power to alter people’s moods. This means if your washrooms have bad odours, people can write them off even before seeing them.

Odours are easy to fix but do require specialist knowledge about their root cause and the correct washroom supplies to fix the problem. Fixing the problem is about choosing the right washroom supplies that will eliminate the odour at the source rather than simply masking the small. Again, this is a good area to seek out a trusted experienced supplier who can help pinpoint the problem.

 

Walls and surfaces

Tiled walls are notoriously difficult to clean properly. Like tiled floors, the main problem lies in the fact bacteria gathers on grout lines and can be extremely difficult to sanitise successfully. When designing or re-furbishing washrooms, carefully consider wall cladding. Solid Grade Laminate (SGL) is a good choice which is completely impervious to water and comes in a huge range of colours and finishes, meaning you can have a washroom that’s highly functional, but still looks slick.

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The London Cleaning Show held their innovation awards this week on the Tuesday of the event and we are delighted to announce that our eco-friendly Quick and Easy product won the “Best Product Innovation” award for the cleaning product category.

Recognising over the past few years the need for truly sustainable cleaning products, we are thrilled that Quick and Easy has had the recognition it deserves.

Eco-friendly cleaning products have been growing in popularity within the UK cleaning market for many years, but the standard and performance of products have not been consistent and comparable to the chemical alternatives. We firmly believe that cleaning performance does not have to suffer as a result of caring for the environment.

Quick and Easy goes above and beyond on both performance and sustainability levels – that’s why we have brought it to the UK market. Recognising the superior performance and usability of the product over other green alternatives, we knew this was a truly innovative step forward in the world of green cleaning.

It’s not just its green credentials that have contributed towards its award winning status; it is also very practical and safe for the user. The multiple cleaning solutions, automatic dosing and tailored belt allow the user to move through a facility efficiently and effectively, completely eliminating the need to return to the cleaning store.

We’re committed to bringing the latest innovative products to our customers and actively seek out the most practical products by keeping on top of the latest industry news and events. This is how we found Quick and Easy, the most practical and eco-friendly products we have found in the industry. It has innovatively filled a gap in the UK market and brings a new dimension to the phrase “green cleaning”.



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For some, choosing suppliers is a hassle, and trying to find a supplier that suits you has its challenges. Yet, choosing suppliers gives you the chance to improve your service, reduce cost, develop a fresh perspective, all to help make improvements to your current practices.

There are so many advantages to choosing a supplier and it’s really easy. Here are 4 ways to change your perspective and really test the market when choosing the right cleaning and janitorial product supplier.

1.Find out how much they know about what you do

Find a supplier that will answer questions or carry out a workplace assessment. These assessments are a great opportunity to find out what a supplier can do for your organisation. Discover how they work and learn their approach. These assessments, help support your organisation and can help with improvements. Instead of viewing the selection process of a supplier as a hassle, use it as a chance to connect with the best in the business.

2.Consider Achievements

Look at the entire business. Are they accredited? How do they treat their employees? Look for a supplier who is well established and has won awards in the cleaning and hygiene supplies industry. Suppliers who strive for perfection will guarantee your organisation gets the best service. Read their case studies to help you find the best results, this will help you make the right choice.

3.Do Your Homework

Before selecting any supplier, you want to make sure you gather as much evidence as possible. Find out whether the cleaning supplies company you are looking at provides helpful information to their customers. Read their blog posts, look for “How to guides”, and helpful product information. Carrying out some online research is an excellent way to find out the general ethos of the supplier. Assess a suppliers’ capability, customer service and compare prices.

4.Understand how they would advise and support you

A strong business partnership with a good cleaning and hygiene supplier can help amend your perspective. Having a supplier, you can depend on, communicate delays, and take on a leadership approach, is the type of service you need to lighten your load and change your perceptions. Set them some scenario task and ask questions like “what would you do if we ran out of a chemical, needed urgently on a Friday morning?” or “How can you be certain that my deliveries will arrive when I need them?”

By considering these 4 simple steps you are on your way to changing your perspective and techniques when choosing cleaning and janitorial suppliers. This process doesn’t have to be a hassle. it’s an opportunity to improve the performance in your organisation, so take it.

Download our Winter Maintenance Advice leaflet here

Green cleaning with no compromise on performance

We are delighted to announce that we’re the exclusive UK distributors for an award winning new cleaning product QUICK AND EASY that delivers professional cleaning results without compromise with a revolutionary mobile dosing system that is safe, green, practical and powerful.

We know that many organisations have a strong desire to embrace more sustainable cleaning processes but have become frustrated with the results that they get from green cleaning formulations. But not anymore as Quick and Easy sets new standards in performance, sustainability, user safety as well as productivity.

The innovative foam spray head automatically dilutes the QUICK & EASY concentrated formulas for easy, exact and safe dosing. The foam ensures improved product utilisation with effective contamination reduction, when compared to conventional cleaning sprays.

Four powerful and effective QUICK & EASY formulations means that there is one for all main cleaning requirements, and they are quick and easy to swap at the point of use:

  • Tanex Performa – Stain removal
  • Sanet Daily – specifically for washrooms
  • Tanet Interior – all round surfaces cleaner
  • Grease Off – Specifically for kitchen use

QUICK & EASY complies with a new standard of environmental sustainability, Cradle to Cradle. The robust accreditation process only certifies products that are sustainable and all formulations are “Gold Certified”.

All ingredients are certified as safe for people and nature, the innovative automatic dilution of the product makes it “CLP free in application”, recognising that it is free from hazardous materials as set out in the EU CLP Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances.

The QUICK & EASY belt, combined with a water cartridge that can be refilled anywhere, means this is a portable and powerful system that ensures cleaning professionals are as productive and efficient as possible.

As the UK’s exclusive distributors of the QUICK & EASY innovative cleaning solution we are delighted to answer any questions you may have so get in touch?

For more information, please visit the new QUICK AND EASY website or come and visit us at the London Cleaning Show, where we will be specifically introducing this product to the UK Market.



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There are two key “green” standards that are regularly used by product manufacturers “Ecolabel” and “Cradle to Cradle” but how green are they and what do they really mean?

What is Ecolabel?

Ecolabel is a EU government backed labelling scheme primarily for food and consumer items, but is sometimes used for commercial products such as cleaning products. The Ecolabel is a voluntary accreditation available to show that a product meets the EU environmental government regulations.  Companies adopting this standard are either manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, or retailers”.  As an EU standard, with Brexit looming, Ecolabel could become less relevant in the UK?

In recent years, in addition to government schemes like Ecolabel there have been a number of “green” labels all attempting to create the impression that these products are 100% eco-friendly. However, there are significantly varying standards and requirements across these various marks.

How green is Ecolabel?

Industries are slowly becoming aware that environmental concerns must be taken seriously. The Ecolabel is a recognised symbol and this acts as a benefit for the products and manufactures. Yet, a product with the Ecolabel sticker doesn’t have to be 100% green but can have green “elements” or just one element. Typically, this is around the biodegradability of the chemicals and often whether the waste water contains surfactants. Once the Ecolabel is granted the applicant must keep their products up to date and ensue they are taking the responsibility promised on the packaging.

What is Cradle to Cradle?

Cradle to Cradle takes a more holistic approach across the products life-cycle. It’s an independent standard and the ethos of the company is to offer 100% Eco-friendly cleaning products. It aims to ensure an “optimistic agenda for the continuous support around social issues, environmental and economic concerns”. The Cradle to Cradle standard has created five key categories used to highlight all green commercial elements.

Cradle to Cradle Categories

  1. Material Health – Recyclable packaging
  2. Material Reutilization – Using only natural ingredients for the cleaning agents
  3. Renewable Energy and Carbon Management
  4. Water Stewardship -Using water responsibly protecting rivers and streams.
  5. Social Fairness – Exposure of people working with/coming into contact with the products

These five aspects are fundamental parts of the Cradle to Cradle standards and their total requirement ensures all products are carefully and completely considered. One of the most important things to remember is that going green often can save money.

We are committed to the issue of hygiene in the workplace and we make this an intrinsic part of our mission and values. We are a customer and employee centric organisation that prides itself in building a culture of innovation and excellence. It is embedded into our organisational DNA and drives our approach to build productive partnerships to our clients.

Over the past few months we have evolved our value proposition and have simply narrated the culture that we currently embrace and have embraced for the past 40 years.

We aim to inspire you to rethink traditional approaches to cleaning. We’re passionate about helping you improve standards, reduce costs and ensure compliance while being environmentally responsible. We have identified how we can help you and it is through these three processes:

  • Advise
  • Supply
  • Support

We have built structured and responsive teams around these core delivery principles, to ensure that our organisation has the flexibility to deliver superior customer experience.

We stand out from the crowd because we can Advise. Our knowledgeable ‘Insight Team’, provide expert advice to help you find new and improved ways of working. We aim to help you source better performing products and support you in your drive for improvement.

Our ‘Solutions’ and ‘Fulfilment’ Teams take pride in ensuring that our supply is highly personal and responsive, exceeding expectations. Quality and performance runs through our core at Arrow. We listen to our customer requirements to ensure we can meet your needs on a regular basis.

We provide unparalleled support through our dedicated ‘Simplicity’ and ‘Response’ teams, who make it their business to make your life easy. They take ownership of your question and support you until you find a resolution. We go above and beyond the call of duty and every member of our team is hardworking, trustworthy and friendly, ensuring you get exactly what you need, when you need it.

This is what we call the Arrow Way.

With our new story, we have relaunched our website and created a corporate image that reflects our customer centric culture. We hope you like it!



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